This collection of graduation speeches contains some of Kurt Vonnegut's best one-liners, observations, and advice. My favorite is his repeated assertiThis collection of graduation speeches contains some of Kurt Vonnegut's best one-liners, observations, and advice. My favorite is his repeated assertion, "Your government does not and should not exist in order to keep you or anybody else, no matter what color, no matter what race, no matter what religion, from getting your damn fool feelings hurt" (47). It is a pity more governments do not take this political stand and instead implement a policy of appeasement. I also enjoyed, "One of the few good things about modern times: If you die horribly on television, you will not have died in vain. You will have entertained us" (63).
This is a truly excellent resource covering all birthing scenarios except precipitous delivery (either assisted or unassisted), and it does so in a coThis is a truly excellent resource covering all birthing scenarios except precipitous delivery (either assisted or unassisted), and it does so in a completely neutral voice. For example, the author explains as an MD she does not believe homebirth is safe, but she refrains from playing the dead baby card. Likewise, after explaining that labor inductions are intended only for situations in which it is unsafe to continue the pregnancy either for the mother or baby and not for convenience or as an attempt to avoid any potential complications, she does not criticize women for seeking elective inductions for non-medical reasons.
This book walks the reader through the different types of childbirth step-by-step and will help pregnant women understand what to expect with each type of delivery and make informed choices. Included at the end is a template to help mothers-to-be create a birth plan of their own.
Beginning with the least interventions and progressing to fully medicalized, this book details: * an unmedicated, vaginal birth at home * an unmedicated, vaginal birth in a birth center * an unmedicated, vaginal birth in a hospital * an epidural, vaginal birth in a hospital * an induction of labor in a hospital * a vaginal birth after cesarean (VBAC) * a planned cesarean birth in a hospital * an unplanned cesarean birth in a hospital
This book gives the most thorough description of an epidural that I have ever encountered in a text for laypeople. It also does an excellent job of providing informed consent, listing the pros and cons of each type of birth and birth intervention. Kudos to the author for not glossing or dismissing over the very real risks of standard interventions.
If you ever wondered how the medical community devised the forbidden during pregnancy rules, this is the book for you. The author does an absolutely eIf you ever wondered how the medical community devised the forbidden during pregnancy rules, this is the book for you. The author does an absolutely excellent job analyzing the studies that give rise to the generally unexplained medical dictates to pregnant women that doctors love to issue but rarely explain to patients or even understand themselves. Many critics take issue with her daring to analyze medical studies, but I don't. One doesn't need to have a medical degree to understand the numbers, and Oster is highly trained when it comes to statistics.
Oster tends to softball the results with which she agrees and hardballs those she doesn't, but don't we all? She also didn't seem to grasp that because she was so well informed, came to OB appointments armed with actual medical studies, and wasn't afraid to challenge standard medical advice and procedures, she probably received far superior care than ordinary women who simply rely on the medical system to guide them through pregnancy. This is the book's major flaw. She was able to make informed decisions based on an analysis of all current major medical studies on a given topic, but most women aren't as lucky or as informed.
Her dismissal of the potentially severe risks of labor inductions, epidurals, and repeat caesarean sections especially stung. Although the negative outcomes may be "statistically minor" to the author, they can be highly traumatic for any woman who falls into this category particularly if she weren't even aware of the possibility of a bad outcome as a result of following the standard medical advice. At the very least her research gave her proper informed content; because of blanket waivers, informed content as spelled out by the American Medical Association, is not often given. Much of the research examined this book would be extremely valuable wishing to make well informed decisions during pregnancy and is nothing to be lackadaisical about, which the tone sometimes slips into....more
If you're interested in the option of homebirth, then this book would be a good resource. It was written by midwives as well as containing a large numIf you're interested in the option of homebirth, then this book would be a good resource. It was written by midwives as well as containing a large number of testimonials from women who had homebirths. It is, however, written from the perspective of midwifery being legal and midwives being allowed to perform limited medical tests and procedures, so the services midwives can perform may be different in your state.
There is one major caveat. While this book contains a lot of good information, its tone is decidedly sentimental. This is unfortunate because rather than making the content of the book more approachable, it reinforces the negative stereotype of midwives as unprofessional rather than medically trained and capable practitioners and portrays many of the homebirth patients featured in the testimonials as overly emotional and lacking good judgment, which is undoubtedly not the book's intention. ...more
After reading The Museum of Extraordinary Things, I wanted to see photos of what "the living wonders" could have looked like and read about what kindsAfter reading The Museum of Extraordinary Things, I wanted to see photos of what "the living wonders" could have looked like and read about what kinds of lives they could have led apart from show business. This book is fascinating but sad. The information on any one person is not particularly extensive....more
The philosophical poem about childbirth that helped create the natural childbirth movement of the 1970's. I expected the phrase "birth without violencThe philosophical poem about childbirth that helped create the natural childbirth movement of the 1970's. I expected the phrase "birth without violence" to apply to the mother's experience of childbirth, but instead this work focuses on the infant's experience of birth, which is fascinating in a different way. If you're in the camp who measures the success of a birth in terms greater than a live mother and a live child, you will enjoy this book. If it's only the ultimate outcome that matters in your book, then you probably won't care for this treatise.
Although the voice is often too hippie dippy for my taste, the author does raise many very good issues pertaining to birth. He is dead on in his observation that the sudden shift at the moment of birth from near darkness, warmth, and quiet to blindingly bright light aimed right in the child's face, a jarring temperature drop, and medical personnel making a great deal of racket is a traumatic experience. Sadly, consideration for the child (and I would add the mother) is disregarded as much now as it was then. Both mother and child are supposed to just be glad they're both alive thanks to modern medicine if they complain about their birth experience. It is very difficult to challenge the necessity of any institutionalized practice, and legal liability often prohibits doing so. ...more
Below Stairs is a highly readable memoir about life as a domestic servant for the British upper classes between World War I and World War II. While thBelow Stairs is a highly readable memoir about life as a domestic servant for the British upper classes between World War I and World War II. While there are no great insights, it does give a good sense of what it would be like to work "below stairs" as a kitchen maid. Since Powell worked exclusively as a kitchen maid, she seldom ventured upstairs, so her perspective is solely on the behind the scenes happenings....more